The Case of the Missing Investigator

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Less than a month after news broke that a former schools computer services technician had been convicted on child porn charges, former schools inspector general Herb Cousins is suing the school board.

Cousins alleges a conspiracy to "defame" him through a "campaign of character assassination," and says administrators were worried he was getting too close to them with his ongoing investigations.

Reached for comment, Cousins wouldn't specify the nature of his investigations. But he confirmed that he had contacted the FBI about the open cases. His lawsuit serves as a reminder that Cousins's office has been shuttered since schools superintendent Rudy Crew fired him last year. School board member Marta Perez recently asked whether the case of Tony Wayne Dixon, the recently convicted computer services technician, is indicative of a larger problem with the district's internal operations. Cousins said last week that he had planned to expand his child porn investigation to include some of Dixon's colleagues.

For 17 years, Dixon worked for the Miami-Dade school district, monitoring computer systems to ensure no inappropriate material made it through web filters to impressionable kids. Last month, Dixon was sentenced to five years probation, after he was convicted on 17 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of transmitting child pornography.

Police found pornographic images of children, including some younger than 12, during a 2005 raid of Dixon's North Miami Beach home. An informant told investigators that Dixon and other employees at the district's information technology services office had downloaded child pornography to their office computers — a charge that was never proven, according to David Sherman, the lead prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. "We were unable to confirm it and, of course, the inspector general's office was shut down," Sherman said.

Dixon earned $55,006 a year and had been on paid administrative leave since his arrest two years ago, until his resignation last week. —Rob Jordan

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.